Apple has hit hard at the accusations that its former mobile GPU supplier Imagination Technologies leveled at the Cupertino tech giant. According to the iPhone maker, Imagination’s “unsubstantiated allegations” made recently in their annual report to investors are “inaccurate and misleading,” Bloomberg reported Friday.
Apple is adamant that Imagination had known for much longer that their business relationship was ending, explaining it started working with the British firm since the first iPhone was released in 2007 and stopped accepting new intellectual property from them in 2015.
An excerpt from the article:
By 2016, Apple said it told Imagination it was further diminishing the relationship by initiating a clause in its contact that allows Apple to pay a lower royalty rate for using a smaller amount of intellectual property.
By February of this year, Apple said it told Imagination it was ending the relationship altogether and would no longer be making any royalty payments as early as 2018.
Basically, Imagination’d known for two years of Apple’s plans to drop its GPU blueprints.
The statement contradicts Imagination CEO Andrew Heath who told investors on a conference call this week that Apple had informed Imagination at the end of March “that they were certain” that iOS devices released in 2018 or early 2019 would no longer use Imagination’s GPU designs.
He added that “we don’t accept Apple’s position” that it could build its own system and called Apple’s decision to stop making royalty payments to Imagination “unsubstantiated.”
Apple said in a statement to Bloomberg:
We began working with Imagination in 2007 and stopped accepting new IP from them in 2015. After lengthy discussions we advised them on February 9 that we expected to wind down our licensing agreement since we need unique and differentiating IP for our products. We valued our past relationship and wanted to give them as much notice as possible to adapt their future plans.
At the heart of the dispute: Apple’s April 2017 decision to drop Imagination’s proprietary GPU blueprints in favor of in-house designed GPUs for iPhones and iPads. The announcement shocked Imagination’s investors and caused its stock to collapse more than sixty percent.
Imagination eventually put itself up for sale.
Apple, which owns a stake in Imagination, is unlikely to make an offer, according to Bloomberg.
Imagination has been arguing ever since that it would be impossible for the Cupertino firm to design its own mobile GPUs without infringing Imagination’s proprietary technology.
The Cupertino firm is said to have already cut payments for licensed Imagination GPU designs from 30 cents to just 10 cents per iPhone. Analyst think Imagination will struggle to stay in business as an independent company without Apple as its key customer.